« Previous | Main | Next »


Eddie Mair | 10:08 UK time, Monday, 30 October 2006

what seems like three weeks of unbroken grey skies over London, yesterday, at last, there was a glimpse of sun. Temperatures were in the high teens and people in the pub garden I was in were in short sleeves. It could have been June - or indeed a fine day on the Day One beach.

The conversation got round to climate change, and after a few minutes we all agreed we felt guilty about enjoying the heat and the warmth. Guilty. We got into our respective cars, feeling guilty about driving, and rushed home (and felt guilty about rushing) to turn off all the electrical items in the house. I only came to work for heat and light.


  1. At 10:22 AM on 30 Oct 2006, Big Sister wrote:

    Guilty as charge, M'Lud - As, I suspect, are all of us.

    But, Eddie, you're right. We are basically a bunch of hypocrites when it comes to climate change.

    Part of the problem, though, is that there are so many expectations created by the technology we're accustomed to these days.

    For example, people are now expected to blog.

    Who'd have thought it?

    BTW, it was lovely to see you on the beach yesterday. We'll keep popping over there to warm up now that nobody is allowed to use their central heating.

  2. At 10:26 AM on 30 Oct 2006, OnTheLedge wrote:


    Every day on the Day One beach is fine. That's why we love it there.

    Keep smiling!

  3. At 10:32 AM on 30 Oct 2006, Aptoe wrote:

    Here's a thought. Please feel free to tell me that it's nonsense.

    Instead of thinking up ways to tax/fine/penailise the "gas guzzlers" that contribute so much to our emissions why not just ban them?

    No new cars on the road with engines above a certain cc or with emissions above a specified level or that can't deliver a specified mpg.

  4. At 10:32 AM on 30 Oct 2006, Deepthought (formerly John W) wrote:

    (see my post in Early Warning, where I pointed out that we will not like the medicine, and some of the stupid dis-incentives that are still being introduced).

  5. At 10:36 AM on 30 Oct 2006, jonnie wrote:

    Actually this all incenses me a bit. I know, as we were told, in the Spring when BBC4 spent hours talking about the climate models, that nothing much has changed in the last hundred years. We always get the odd blips in the weather.

    I have been forced to feel guilty for driving around in my Diesel Range Rover, although it only does 3,000 miles a year, and yet I'm going to probably have to pay a fortune for the privilege.

    Meanwhile there are god knows how many coal fired power stations, and a resilient anti- nuclear lobby out there.

    I’m actually doing myself a favour today and not watching or listening to the news as I’m fed up with being lectured to.

    As for enjoying time in the pub and having to talk about climate change - I'd have been outta there pronto !

  6. At 10:37 AM on 30 Oct 2006, Big Sister wrote:

    This one is for Lissa, or whoever's in charge of technology today .... (No, Eddie, not you - we don't want you to stress out again)

    Could the BBC IT brains work out a way of speeding up travel between Day One and whichever is the 'current' thread? My own limited knowledge of technology leads me to think that there should be some solution which doesn't involve a complete re-engineer of the site (but I may be wrong!!)

    At present it does take a bit of time for the wheels to turn when we move from the flipside to the beach and I think it's frustrating some of the regular beachcombers.

    Thanks v. much

  7. At 10:49 AM on 30 Oct 2006, jonnie wrote:

    Hi Big Sis (5)

    I think it's called creating a new thread which doesn't have nearly 500 posts on it. Eddie would have to start it though - but what could we call it ?

    RE: Aptoe (3)

    Thanks for your constructive comment ;-()

  8. At 10:59 AM on 30 Oct 2006, jonnie wrote:

    Aptoe (3)

    It's how the vehicles are used, one Range Rover carrting five people, or fully loaded with shopping is far more practical than a small Yaris or similar sitting in the London traffic with one person driving it.

    Secondly, please tell me you have never been on a plane journey.

  9. At 11:01 AM on 30 Oct 2006, Big Sister wrote:


    Well, if that's the best solution, we can put it to Lord Mair that we need a tropical beach to be posted up.

    Of course, it would also give Eddie a chance to establish some of the 'atmosphere' - and also to show Kirsty that the best beaches aren't deserted.

    What about it, Eddie?

    Can you put out a few tugs and trawl the beach over?

    Thanks, guv.

  10. At 11:02 AM on 30 Oct 2006, Piper wrote:

    ...well, it's alright for those who can get to the beach, or the pub, or indeed both of those places and as for affording a car that's driveable...

    Some of us, Aperitif and I to name but four, have identity crises we've had to battle with...

    On top of all this, Lissa aka "Deep-Croak" told me a tale of woe when we met, late at night, in an underground car park in Washington, Tyne & Wear...

    I assume what follows relates primarily to staff of a rival to our own Beeb. But who knows? S/he ain't saying.

    The story certainly goes some way to explain our own lack of Newsletters and the Blog problems.

    A man married a beautiful ex-Broadcasting staffer who had previously divorced ten husbands, many of whom worked at the same Broadcasting Corporation...

    On their wedding night, the Bride said to her new husband, "Please, be gentle. I'm still, well..., I’m still a virgin..."

    "What..?" said the puzzled groom. "...how can that be if you've been married ten times?"

    "Well, it’s easily explained” she said.

    “Husband #1 was a Commissioning Programme Editor for a news programme; he just kept telling me not to worry, things would work-out fine...

    Husband #2 was a news programme Blog-Site operator; he was never really sure how things were supposed to function and I couldn’t count on anything he did. He just kept saying he'd look into things and get back to me...

    Husband #3 was from Communication Liaison Services; he said everything checked out diagnostically, but, for some reason, he just couldn't get his equipment working properly...

    Husband #4 was a news programme Newsletter Producer; even though he knew he had the order, he didn't know when, or indeed if, he would ever be able to deliver...

    Husband #5 was a Computer Server Engineer; he wanted three years to research, implement, and design a new state-of-the-art method of delivery...

    Husband #6 was in Administration; he said he was sure he knew how things should be done, but he wasn't sure who’s job it was...

    Husband #7 was in IT Development and, although he said he had the perfect product, he was never sure how to position it...

    Husband #8 was a radio news programme Anchorman; as you can imagine, he talked a really good game, but that’s all he EVER did... Talk!

    I’d had, enough. After that lot, I left the Corporation and found:

    Husband #9 who was a Gynaecologist; but all he did was look at things...

    Husband #10 was a Stamp Collector; and all he ever did was... God I miss him..!

    But now that I've married you, I'm so excited!"

    "Good..." said the husband, "...but, why?"

    "Well, you're a Tax Man...... So, this time I KNOW there’s no way I’m not gonna get s*****d!"

  11. At 11:09 AM on 30 Oct 2006, Anne P. wrote:

    I agree that we may not like the medicine, but I think that generally part of the problem is the hugely inconsistent and half-hearted approach even by those who claim to be convinced of the dangers - I mean government of course.

    What is Joe Public expected to do - buy new light bulbs when the old kind are still cheaper, install solar panels when the grants have already run out, not buy a new house/car/TV because it's not energy efficient when in other respects it does what we want.

    In other words without joined up thinking and courage to legislate on the part of governments (that's all of them) and a willingness to do what may appear to be unpopular then we will continue to muddle our way to disaster.

    It's not enough either to claim that we can't make much difference when other countries are causing a bigger slice of the problem.

    Someone has to take a lead - NOW. Why not do something really original and actually trust Joe Public to understand the issues, accept what can and must be done and actively play a part in preventing total disaster.

    Ironically of course it may in fact be big business that causes things to start to change as they realise how climate change will hit the bottom line, and that there might actually be some business opportunities out there.

  12. At 11:16 AM on 30 Oct 2006, Aptoe wrote:

    jonnie (8)

    I agree entirely but it is impossible to legislate for HOW cars are used so it has to be on the potential harm that they cause.

  13. At 11:18 AM on 30 Oct 2006, Deepthought (formerly John W) wrote:


    I'm being taxed for *not* driving to work, and what's more, it's about to double. The chelsea tractor owned by neighbour who drives it to work (in London rush hour) pays and will continue to pay nothing. It's called a controlled parking zone (only active in the day). What kind of an incentive is that, or is it that plebs who don't have off-street parking should not own a car?

    Aptoe, (3), I agree with jonnie. When I do use my car (I live alone), I try and do multiple errands - e.g. to recycle, to supplier, drop off something at friends, shopping - but I actually do 3/4 journeys a week. Yes my car is large for one person (and old Saab); but I actually need a car that size for when I actually use it. My mpg in town is realitively good because I'm not driving (or sitting parked) in the rush hour.

    But when the US government made it an incentive to buy SUVs (the modern gas guzzler), which has now made it a fashion icon in the UK as well, there is a lot to do to reverse this triend. Doubling the vehicle excise duty for such a car is a drop in the ocean.

    Although in one sense, I do agree with Aptoe, huge, glossy adverts for these SUVs stimulate demand. So do the budget airlines stimulate demand for flights.

  14. At 11:22 AM on 30 Oct 2006, silver-fox wrote:

    Atmospheric blog.

  15. At 11:24 AM on 30 Oct 2006, Mrs Trellis wrote:

    Climate change. We can sit here all day discussing how we can change the way we utilise our resources however, it appears to me that most suggestions involve somebody else changing there attitude/behavior. For instance: get rid of big gas guzzling cars, tax cheep flights into non-existence etc. We say all this and yet we actually DO very little in the way of changing our own behavior. Oh, I know we all "do our bit" and recycle (when we remember) and all the other little ways we try to help but in reality this makes very little difference to the actual state of the planet. I know that I am generalising and some people are going to become very indignant and "righteous" about the fact that they, single handed, are doing more. To those that I offend I apologise and yes, I am generalising but the fact is the majority of people are not doing "their bit". The only way that any real change will take place is if we ALL lobby to get a global shift in attitude. Fat chance of that happening!

    On a lighter note. Might a possible solution to the beach problem be if Eddie allowed us to use his local to meet up. I'd buy him a pint!

  16. At 11:31 AM on 30 Oct 2006, Deepthought (formerly John W) wrote:

    Anne P(11),

    You comment about buying incandescent light bulbs etc. Actually it would be quite easy if they had the guts to do it. They could outlaw them. You may not have noticed, but quite a lot of electrical/electronic equipment has been outlawed over the years, generally in what is known as "CE marking".

    However, there are some cases where incandescents are still needed, so some exemptions are needed (e.g. "daylight" bulbs).

    I changed over to flouescents starting in 1991, now every bulb is high efficency - except one daylight bulb which I used as and when.

  17. At 11:37 AM on 30 Oct 2006, OnTheLedge wrote:

    Well, Mrs. T, that is the crux of the problem, isn't it? We all need to try to do more.

    On the cheap flights thingey, which I know exercises a lot of people, my personal suggestion would be that we each have an air miles allowance annually, which would be the sum of the total sustainable miles worldwide divided by the world's population. And that would be IT. A bit like carbon trading, anyone who needs (or THINKS they need) to travel more frequently would have to purchase more air miles from those who don't need any, or as many.

    A very interesting situation would, I believe result. Businesspeople would use teleconferencing facilities more often, politicians would be seen more often in their constituencies/the House, the elderly would become wealthier (assuming they aren't using their airmiles), Third World citizens ditto ........ And nobody could say that tax rises (the alternative which is usually bandied around) are hitting the poor.

    So, Eddie, when you next interview Mr. Brown, perhaps you'd like to put it to him.

    Oh, and it wouldn't be necessary for it to be done 'unilaterally' at first - I think each country needs to lead by example.

    Now, back to the beach ....

  18. At 11:39 AM on 30 Oct 2006, Aptoe wrote:

    jonnie (8)

    I have been on plenty of plane journeys - at least 6 return flights in the past year - only one of which was really neccessary..

    If I can fly last minute to Pisa and back for £10 inclusive of all taxes as I did last year, I'll do it. If it costs £150 I probably won't.

    I wouldn't mind being hit in the pocket for these flights - I think it scandalous that air fuel is not subject to VAT.

    Having said that I feel that airlines are just the latest "easy solution" to climate/pollution problems. You can ban every flight worldwide and you will still have a global warming problem.

  19. At 11:42 AM on 30 Oct 2006, Dr Hackenbush wrote:

    Did you guys not hear the fire alarm?

    On pollution: I still use my feet to get around. But I would also advocate fundamental improvements (and investment) in public transport systems, at the same time as discouraging excessive car use.

    I heard an interesting programme in which a group of families living in the same road had clubbed together to buy a single car, which they could then each book for use as needed. I just don’t see that happening in my road.

  20. At 11:45 AM on 30 Oct 2006, OnTheLedge wrote:

    Spotted on a wall in Broadcasting House


    Early warning
    Jim'll fix it.


  21. At 11:49 AM on 30 Oct 2006, Rachel wrote:

    We're all doomed. And I can't see it changing. What we need is a consensus on the way forward that brings the whole world with it. And that isn't going to happen. Even in our own cosy little frog we can't agree, and we must be some of the most agreeable people on the planet.

    Perhaps a solution would be for us all to do our bit, whatever we think that bit should be. So Jonnie, you can keep the Gas-guzzler, providing you cancel that weekend in Barcelona and holiday on Day One instead. And Aptoe can install a wind turbine. And me - well I plan to carry on producing a lot of hot air.

  22. At 11:52 AM on 30 Oct 2006, jonnie wrote:

    silver-fox (14) Nick Robinson calls it a Newslog, I like that!

    JohnW (16) Yes we only use flourescents apart from one or two halogen spots where a compact flourescent looks aesthetically dreadful.

    Mrs T (15)

    How was the drive in today? Much sitting around in the traffic -- doing your bit for the environment ;-)

    Sorry, very hacked off today. Now off to B&Q to buy a saw and gaze at their wind turbines going for a song and enjoy a bit of humour in the company of BBC7.

    DAB is excellent down here Eddie - you should try it sometime :-)

  23. At 12:01 PM on 30 Oct 2006, Penrose wrote:

    The way to deal with that would have been to trade the carbon you emmitted on the way to and from the pub with someone who stayed in, and offset your electrical goods on standby against a household of ramberlers, vegans, That way, instead of rushing home, you could have stayed at the pub, continuing to contribute to the local economy and ifnoring, I mean avoiding, all that nasty guilt stuff.

  24. At 12:03 PM on 30 Oct 2006, Penrose wrote:

    Did I really just say that?

  25. At 12:05 PM on 30 Oct 2006, Dr Hackenbush wrote:

    I’ll know who to sell my air miles to. And, indeed, who to turn to for more unthinkable solutions. Good work, On.

  26. At 12:07 PM on 30 Oct 2006, Deepthought (formerly John W) wrote:

    ...btw, I'm not *that* good on energy efficiency, don't want people to get the idea I'm a complete goodie-two-shoes on the matter.

    OntheLedge, there is talk of everyone having a total carbon allocation. So not only air flights, but car journeys, home heating etc etc. A more complete scheme, but I think much harder to impliment.

    What worries me though, is that so many of the solutions get big government involved. So, for example, road pricing (which could also count your carbon usage), is done by all cars being fitted with trackers, and a government department monitors your every move in the car. Someone will then hit on the idea of having that tracker set so the car will only start when your ID card is inserted and a PIN entered.

  27. At 12:21 PM on 30 Oct 2006, Piper wrote:

    ...and there are two of me (at least) so Lord only knows what we use...

  28. At 12:29 PM on 30 Oct 2006, OnTheLedge wrote:

    Dr. H,
    I'm not sure if you're being sarcastic ..... But my suggestion is quite genuine. After all, access to a holiday abroad shouldn't depend upon wallet-thickness. And I fear that if we use taxes as mallets to crack global warming, it will only widen the gap between Those-Who-can-have-Anything-They-Seek and Ordinary Joes.

    By using 'airmiles' we don't entirely lose the benefits of cheap flights, only the amount of access to said flights. I realise that this is likely to increase the price of flights as the number of actual flights would have to decrease, but there would overall be greater fairness.

    And we have to accept that, however it is achieved, flights, like car journeys, need to decrease until such time as we have viable technologies that don't kill our planet.

  29. At 12:32 PM on 30 Oct 2006, valery pedant wrote:

    Oh dear, the more one thinks on this topic, the more Big Brotherly it gets, n'est-ce pas?
    If we had any faith at all that those to whom we have granted the wherewithal to do something about today's and future problems, in fact have any idea of how to go about it, and even more to the point anything other than personal agendas, then I might be able to get to the end of this sentence without drawing breath.
    Well I guess you know where I'm coming from - I see no easy answer, but we must keep asking the questions.

  30. At 12:40 PM on 30 Oct 2006, Susan Orty-Boyden wrote:

    It's blowing a hooley here.

  31. At 12:44 PM on 30 Oct 2006, Dr Hackenbush wrote:

    No, it really does seem a very good idea.

  32. At 12:48 PM on 30 Oct 2006, Fearless Fred wrote:

    I know I've commented about this before on a previous thread (some time ago), but one of the major things that has to be done is a vast improvement in the access to and regularity of public transport. I would happily use public transport to go to work if it didn't involved over an hour and a half to travel the eight miles from my house to the office. It's not as if I live in the deeps of the country, either. I live in a small town in South Oxfordshire, and my office is in one of Europes' largest multi-use business parks. But, as I said earlier, it would take me 90 minutes to travel by buss the eight miles. In the evening it's even worse! I would need to catch the bus in the opposite direction to Didcot, get on the train there up to Oxford (16 Miles at a right angle to the way I want to go, then get another bus from there down to here! Total travel time, almost 2 hours! Surely a properly integrated tram/bus network, with reasonable ticket prices, would entice people to leave the car at home more often. I know it would work for me...

  33. At 12:48 PM on 30 Oct 2006, Belinda wrote:

    Completely useless and unhelpful opinion on climate change: I, for one, can't wait until homo sapiens have died out and (hopefully) something more intelligent has taken its place. There has never been a species which have had such a negative impact on both the planet and each other with so few positive impacts. We can talk about 4x4s in Central London all we want, the fact remains that the world is going to down the crap-heap either way.

  34. At 12:54 PM on 30 Oct 2006, Anne P. wrote:

    Deepthought (26) and Valery (29) absolutely agree about the Big Brother implications, but I do think that there are some things that require legislation to get them moving - e.g. changing building regulations to ensure zero energy houses in future, promoting integrated transport solutions, pump priming for fledgling renewables industries by a consistent grants/incentives policy to help the majority of us still living in non-zero energy houses to improve things.

    There is no single solution and we shouldn't let anyone imply that there is by over-promoting ideas such as revisiting nuclear power.

    But while we may all disagree on any particular course of action we can all do something - water dripping on a stone eventually leaves its mark.

  35. At 12:56 PM on 30 Oct 2006, Aptoe wrote:


    Regarding the airmiles.. I can appreciate the theory of a limited amount of flights/miles divided eaually with everybody getting their quota.

    But in practice you will be back to square one as soon as you introduce trading. Simply those who can afford will not be limited in their travel and the gap between Those-Who-can-have-Anything-They-Seek and Ordinary Joes remains or widens.

  36. At 12:57 PM on 30 Oct 2006, Dr Hackenbush wrote:


    I remember this discussion. Your thoughts would seem to complement those at (19).

    “Straplines are for wimps - or those who can do HTML properly”

  37. At 12:57 PM on 30 Oct 2006, Piper wrote:

    ...ah, Belinda (34), just what I was saying on "Early Warning"...

  38. At 01:15 PM on 30 Oct 2006, OnTheLedge wrote:


    No, the amount of total airmiles would be fixed. That would be essential. If Ordinary Joe's choose to cash in their airmiles for dosh, so be it. But market forces would determine that, like football tickets on the black market, they would only relinquish these at a price they feel compensates them for the loss of travel - which could be very high!

    If, as you fear, it didn't work, there is always the tax alternative. But that would DEFINITELY make it more difficult for Ordinary Joes to travel.

  39. At 01:16 PM on 30 Oct 2006, Deepthought (formerly John W) wrote:

    FF (32),

    Unfortunately getting integrated transport systems are far easier and effective in big cities. Like the MegaCity that London is becoming. And all the downsides (see previous thread) of big cities. OK, I know, London is the only city with anything like an integrated transport system, as the buses are under control.

  40. At 01:21 PM on 30 Oct 2006, Davros wrote:

    The above looks like a lot of whining from motorists.
    Use the bus or get a bicycle. Walk even.
    What's the matter with you?
    You've known about this problem for at least a decade, so extract digits, grow up and learn how to catch a bus (ooh, scary!).

  41. At 01:33 PM on 30 Oct 2006, Piper wrote:

    First rule of those who know how to make millions... whatever it is, make it trade-able, then, you can "screw" all of the people all of the time...

    Don't hold your breath for carbon credits to work. Another "kenny" WILL arrive on the scene...

    A young hillbilly named Kenny, moved to Texas and bought a donkey from a farmer for $100. The farmer agreed to deliver the donkey the next day.

    The next day the farmer drove up and said, "sorry son, but I have some bad news, the donkey died."

    Kenny replied, "well, then, just give me my money back."

    The Farmer said, "can't do that. I went and spent it already."

    Kenny said, "OK, then, just bring me the dead donkey."

    The farmer asked, "what ya gonna do with him?"

    Kenny said, "I'm going to raffle him off."

    The farmer said, "you can't raffle off a dead donkey!"

    Kenny said, "sure I can. Watch me. I just won't tell anybody he is dead."

    A month later, the farmer met up with Kenny and asked, "what happened with that dead donkey?"

    Kenny said, "I raffled him off. I sold 500 tickets at two dollars a piece and made a profit of $998"

    The farmer said, "didn't anyone complain?"

    Kenny said, "just the guy who won. So I gave him his two dollars back."

    Kenny eventually became the chairman of Enron.

  42. At 01:43 PM on 30 Oct 2006, CJCregg wrote:

    Oh Eddie,

    Do be careful about hanging around on Day One beach. Didn't you see that West Wing episode where Josh makes the mistake of contributing to LemonLyman.com?

    Now, we're a well-meaning whimsical bunch with no Nurse Ratched in sight - but even so, you watch yourself among the dunes or it'll all end in tears, you mark my words.

    (I realise that none of that will make any sense to anyone who isn't a West Wing anorak, but I'd guess a fair few of us are...)

  43. At 01:44 PM on 30 Oct 2006, Big Sister wrote:


    I don't think airmiles would work with Kenny. Or the donkey. Unless we give donkeys airmiles too. But that would be stupid.

    Donkeys know there's no place like home.

  44. At 01:46 PM on 30 Oct 2006, Anne P. wrote:

    Davros (40)

    Bus - what bus?

    Fine if you live somewhere where there are some - not so good where there are none. Also not so easy if you have small children/large amounts of shopping etc.

    Agree with the principle though as we managed without a car for years, including when we had small children so I do know whereof I speak - any chance you can get someone to make it work in practice?

    We were eventually driven to car use by lack of useable public transport (see Fearless Fred 32 above).

  45. At 02:00 PM on 30 Oct 2006, Piper wrote:

    Big Sister (42) ...I'm just off to Bray. For lunch...

  46. At 02:07 PM on 30 Oct 2006, jonnie wrote:

    Re; Davros, (40)

    As Anne P and the previous post from Fearless (that you must have skipped through) it is not always feasable or indeed possible to use the public transport infrastructure. As I previously said I need a largish vehicle for getting provisions for my business, incidentally deliveries in a refrigerated lorry would be far worse.

    And as for the 'extracting digits' and 'growing up' comments : 'No Comment' !

  47. At 02:18 PM on 30 Oct 2006, Fifi wrote:

    Deep (26)

    My conspiracy theory antennae are twitching. Despite massive public antipathy to ID cards and toll roads, this lot will drive thru the legislation using any means it can.

    And now that 'climate change' costs have been conveniently quantified, you can see the way the wind's blowing.

    Deep (39)

    Newcastle used to have an integrated transport system: trains, buses, metro system, ferries. I went to uni with someone who wrote a thesis about it.

    Then I went to live in Newcastle just as they privatised it all. And now they have the same shambles there as everywhere else.


    Frankly, I'm fed up hearing how 'we' have all got to 'do our bit'. I recycle everything I possibly can (just 1/2 a bag of unrecyclables a week), every lightbulb in the house is energy saving, I have umpteen compost bins, and I re-use scrap paper.

    Meanwhile, business wastes energy big-time. And pubs are not encouraged to recycle bottles or boxes, they're charged a fortune to have them removed .. presumably to landfill.

    It's too easy to pick on the public, the soft targets, and keep us distracted from the real issues as we try to make sense of our variously coloured plastic bins and whether it's the week for glass or tins to be collected.

    Big business will glance at today's "1% of the world's wealth" fiction and just put its prices up. Nothing else will change.

    I need a holiday. Good job the beach is within walking distance!

  48. At 02:18 PM on 30 Oct 2006, Aptoe wrote:


    We will have to agree to differ. Even with a fixed amount, the airmiles that are not used by theiir "original owner" will be traded and will inevitably go to those who can pay more. it is always the way.

    Taxing has pretty much the same effect but at least can be capped.

    What can be done without DIRECTLY hitting the traveller is to legislate to bar heavily polluting aircraft from our airspace and penalising airlines for flights that are not fully or nearly fully booked.

  49. At 02:24 PM on 30 Oct 2006, Big Sister wrote:


    Love it! :)

  50. At 02:32 PM on 30 Oct 2006, Davros wrote:

    Surely you must be beginning to realise that such arguments as "I chose to have children and to live too far from work" are no longer sustainable. The minor inconvenience of having to carry your groceries home pales by comparison to the inevitable environmental consequences of continuing to drive everywhere.
    If there aren't any buses, that's usually because there are too many motorists who have opted not to use public transport, so the services have been degraded through lack of use. Of course, the Conservatives' late 80s campaign to eradicate public transport, and the current administration's failure to re-privatize rail and bus services have made getting around more difficult for many of us. See, I'm not entirely without sympathy!
    Ultimately though, individual motorists are responsible for much of the pollution, much of the deplorable state of our public transport and almost all of the traffic congestion.
    Try living closer to where you work.

  51. At 02:33 PM on 30 Oct 2006, Big Sister wrote:

    CJCreg - Andy by another name?

    Of course Eddie can hang out on the beach! Eddie, I think, gets the point.

    The Blog was made by A.N. Other, but its inhabitants exercise free will to use it in ways anticipated by the creator. And, unlike the Earth, the bloggers have put 'their worl' to good use in a way that offends and harms no one.

    [Pretty topical, Huh?]

  52. At 02:40 PM on 30 Oct 2006, Aperitif wrote:

    Could I ask that we refrain from using the phrase "extracting digits" as it is clearly a reference to that other more common phrase and, as such, is no less offensive. Thank you.

  53. At 02:42 PM on 30 Oct 2006, Pete wrote:

    Perhaps the hypocrite at number 10 can tell us the carbon cost of a freebie holiday to Barbados.

  54. At 02:47 PM on 30 Oct 2006, Piper wrote:

    ...now, now jonnie (46) and Davros (40), let's not fall out.

    All suggestions and viewpoints on a topic as serious as "mankind's future - the lack of", have merit and deserve the deepest thought and consideration. And, ideas of whatever nature should be tossed around. Who knows..?

    I'd guess, most adults in our western (consumerised) world have been guilty of gross neglect of that on which we all rely on most. Planet Earth.

    How many of us haven't known about the energy crisis, damaging loss of trees, damaging emmissions, over-population, over-building, mounting consumer greed, lack of infrastructure investment, lack of meaningful planning for future generations, the on-going exploitation of lands and peoples less fortunate than ourselves? Not to mention the exploitation of animals for our own gratification.

    Chucking a couple of quid in a charity box once in a while may add balm to our consciences but in truth does little to resolve the multitude of serious issues at stake.

    Action this day as a wonderful man once said.

    Yet, for many, it's been easier to vote for politicians (if people voted at all) who'll cut taxes (thereby letting all things degenerate) because that saves many, from facing-up facts.

    Maybe, many of us need to change the way we think. For example,we could and, I think, should have stopped Dr Beeching. But we kept quiet. The damage of his actions all those years ago is incalculable and was made on premises false, even at that time. But, it did save(?) money. For a while...

    Why not bombard politicians, telling them what YOU want on all matters that matter to YOU. It is, after all your country and your money and they, come to think of it, are YOUR politicians. I tell mine and at least on that point, my conscience is clear.

    Remind THEM that "Decisions are made by those who turn up..." Then, turn up. Constantly... I'd say we owe the planet that at least...

    P.S. I can't come with you 'cause I not only live elswhere. I'm a 'Yank". Well, someone's gotta be. And you think you've got problems...

  55. At 02:48 PM on 30 Oct 2006, Tania wrote:


    Re: Davros (40)

    My Labrador throws up on the bus!

    We walk now.

  56. At 02:54 PM on 30 Oct 2006, Big Sister wrote:


    Or homeworking?

    I know that won't work for all employment, but it does for a great many jobs .....

    For those jobs where homeworking isn't a option, we could try combining two problems and come up with three solutions:

    Problem 1 - Carbon emissions:
    Solution 1 Work nearer to home

    Problem 2 - Obesity
    Solution 2 - Walk to work

    And the third one? We'll, we'd all be a lot healthier, so we might be able to cut down on NHS costs and thereby not have to face the 'choices' which are currently being debated in that other area of public life.

    There again, it might be too obvious.

  57. At 02:56 PM on 30 Oct 2006, Fearless Fred wrote:

    Excuse me, Davros (50) but how far away is too far away? What if there ARE no houses near where you work? You say: "If there aren't any buses, that's usually because there are too many motorists who have opted not to use public transport, so the services have been degraded through lack of use." I agree. However, it doesn't address that fact that without a public transport framework, there is often no alternative to using the car. We need the alternative methods of travel to be available before we can use them. There's no point standing waiting for a bus if there is no bus to catch...

    May I be so bold as to ask roughly where you live? How far is it from your house to your place of work? How do you make this journey? How do you get your shopping?

  58. At 03:05 PM on 30 Oct 2006, Piper wrote:

    Hey Guys,

    When you get a spare moment give this a try. I can't believe it works... Only took a couple of minutes.

    This is amazing, their database must be enormous.

    I found my school photograph really quickly! And the hairstyle...


  59. At 03:08 PM on 30 Oct 2006, Dr Hackenbush wrote:


    Can you remind us of the Daleks’ environmental policies?

  60. At 03:15 PM on 30 Oct 2006, Davros wrote:

    Fearless, I walk. Or rather, I glide along in my Dalek chair. Our environmental policy?
    We are the supreme beings of the universe, all resistance will be exterminated.

  61. At 03:34 PM on 30 Oct 2006, Piper wrote:

    ... if I might say so Davros (60) ... you put forward a well considered, environmental and energy effective, compelling response... A tad conservative for my own tastes but...

  62. At 03:40 PM on 30 Oct 2006, Deepthought (formerly John W) wrote:

    Davros (50),

    So you want everyone to move closer to work. On a business park? Industrial estates? Out of town shopping centre? Nuclear reactor? Would you want to live around one of those?

    Many of these places do not have sufficient housing required around them. You therefore appear to advocate that all businesses move and become the minor hubs of residential areas, where everyone works for company x lives around it. Small shops etc. open to service those who work for company x. It's happened before, around coal mines. Then the coal mines closed. Or take Longbridge

    I'm not defending the status quo, nor car use, but in starting from where we are now, telling people to move closer to work is a non-starter. What of two earners in one house, whose jobs are in different directions?

  63. At 03:43 PM on 30 Oct 2006, Big Sister wrote:

    Oh Piper - Like you I was truly amazed to find that old image of me on your weblink.

    The others don't know what they're missing.


  64. At 03:43 PM on 30 Oct 2006, Dr Hackenbush wrote:

    Comment Submission Error. Your comment submission failed for the following reasons:

    In an effort to curb malicious comment posting by abusive users, I’ve enabled a feature that requires a weblog commenter to wait a short amount of time before being able to post again. Please try to post your comment again in a short while. Thanks for your patience.

    ^There are Daleks in the system again.

  65. At 03:44 PM on 30 Oct 2006, Robbiedo wrote:


    Absolutely brilliant!

    A pretty awful day at work and you managed to make me laugh out loud.

  66. At 03:48 PM on 30 Oct 2006, jonnie wrote:

    You tease Piper ! Luckily I love Monkeys and live near Monkeyworld.

    I regulalry drive over there in my SUV.

    Joking aside, your points about Dr Beeching are certainly valid. To use the railways to transport freight up and down the country, as an alternative to the roads would result in a reduction of 90% In carbon emissions, or so 'You and Yours' led us to believe today.

    Davros, As you made a reasonable comment I will give you a reasonable reply.

    It isn't just the motorists, they are a factor.

    The manufacturers also have a responsibility to meet the targets and design more efficient engines, which they are doing , but buy all accounts not fast enough.

    We need to invest far far more in Bio Diesel and alternative fuels such as the Hydrogen cells. We need to have more wind generation. Demand on the National Grid is still increasing. this very minute we are consuming, as a nation 450 Megawatts of power


    That's one hell of a lot of carbon from the coal and gas fired stations.

    The government also needs to offer larger grants for cavity wall insulation, loft insulation, and replacement condensing boilers.

    It's not all down to walking and jumping on buses.

  67. At 03:50 PM on 30 Oct 2006, Mrs Trellis wrote:

    Deepthought (62)
    Hear hear. I am in total agreement with you.
    This does not have a simplistic answer like move closer to where you work and other cheap shots.

  68. At 03:57 PM on 30 Oct 2006, Davros wrote:

    Okay, perhaps there are some people and businesses that can't be brought into easy walking distance of each other. But citing extreme examples doesn't invalidate my idea that more people should take it upon themselves to act in a more environmentally sensitive manner. If that includes significant numbers ditching their cars, we might begin to see almost immediate improvements in our cities.
    There are plenty of people out there making unnecessary car journeys. Only a tiny minority of whom are travelling to their jobs in a nuclear power station.

  69. At 04:04 PM on 30 Oct 2006, Stewart M wrote:


    what sort of carbon foot print does a Dalek have?

    Could you offset its energy consumption with a Bee and Kew Windmill? Replace the sink plunger with one perhaps!!

  70. At 04:23 PM on 30 Oct 2006, Deepthought (formerly John W) wrote:

    Davros (68),

    I don't think business parks and industrial estates are themselves extreme examples, but yes, I threw in a couple of those as well. One of my suppliers works in a business unit built on what was farmland. The only house in the area is the farmer's house. *Everyone* on that estate has to drive to work, as the place is in the middle of country. I think about 50 people work there in total.

    Now you can complain of the incentives/reasons that made the farmer stop growing crops and build industrial units instead. A bus service to that unit is unfeasable, although one could argue the farmer should run a minibus service from a nearby village twice a day. The reason businesses moved there is that it's cheaper than business units in towns where rents etc are higher, or being closed down to convert to housing. You've an awful lot of factors to correct here, before the vast majority of the population are able to live in good housing and good neighbourhoods but nonetheless close to where they work.

  71. At 04:23 PM on 30 Oct 2006, Mrs Trellis wrote:

    The tragedy of this is not we have to do something about global warming, no, the real tragedy is that to really make a difference we have to involve the politicians and I am afraid that I am simply too cynical now to trust them to ever do anything that is not in their own self/selfish interest. We have the most back sliding, lick spittle, self centered, self regarding, corrupt and mealy mouthed pond life in all of history. And we allowed it to happen. For shame

  72. At 05:06 PM on 30 Oct 2006, Mrs. Naughtie wrote:

    Mrs. Trellis,

    Now, now, don't keep it all bottled up, Hen. You'll do yourself a mischief. Let it all out and you'll feel much better.

  73. At 05:22 PM on 30 Oct 2006, Fearless Fred wrote:

    Dear Davros (68), I'm glad that you are in a situation where you can walk to work. I guess that you live in a relatively large city, correct? I, however, am not lucky enough to be able to do this, as the distance (8 miles) and road conditions (no pavements) would make it impossible to walk. As I said before, I would happily use public transport if there were a reasonable alternative that didn't involve over three and a half hours of travelling for a point to point distance of 16 miles. Industry, as well as logistics, are not always compatible with residential housing. At that point we absolutely need public transit systems that are efficient, reliable, and affordable. When I lived & worked in the local city (Oxford) I would walk or catch the bus. Since changing jobs, I moved closer to the office so that I would keep travel to a minimum. However it is NOT always possible to be in a situation where we can walk to work...

    I think that we can agree that we must all do what we can to reduce our impac on the nvironment. We're not at loggerheads here. The true people to have a go at are the people such as the Professor from the US that was on the programme just now, and other deniers such as Stephen Milloy. People like that are why there's still people around who believe that global warming is either a myth or a benefit...

  74. At 05:26 PM on 30 Oct 2006, lindylou wrote:

    Instead of just imposing yet more new taxes I think HMG should give a financial benefit to those of us who do not own cars. The 50% of the UK population who drives should pay taxes for the benefit of the 50% who don't.

  75. At 05:30 PM on 30 Oct 2006, Fifi wrote:

    At the risk of incurring the wrath of Lord Mair....

    I WANT MY NEWSLETTER!!!!!!!!!!

    ...strictly in the spirit of not bottling things up, as per Mrs Naughtie's good advice to Mrs Trellis, you understand.

  76. At 05:33 PM on 30 Oct 2006, Aperitif wrote:

    Mrs Trellis (70),

    Can't let that one go, I'm afraid. Your cynicism is, as you said, yours. I have said many times here before (and here I go again), whilst there are bad apples in every crate of life, I abhor the attitute that manifests as 'X is in politics therefore X is corrupt and self-serving'. It simply is not true. Most people I know in this field (and I do know many) are hardworking and idealistic, unpaid and passionate. Those who who hold elected office may be paid, but could often use their skills to earn vast sums in less public walks of life. They are villified constantly by pseudo-jounalists who are all too often failed poliiticians themselves, working for capitalist organisations with their own agendum and who, unlike MPs, MEPs, conucillors et al are not elected to speak for us and cannot be held to the same level of public scruntiny. (Note that I do not include Eddie Mair and many others here, and appreciate his thorough questionning).

    When I hear "they're all corrupt" and similar from the mouths of, for example, strangers in a bar, I'm afraid I have been known to take said strangers to task and ask them what exactly their own policies would be on X and Y and, if they really feel they could do it better, why they don't get out there and stand for democratic election themselves. We're all made of the same stuff, after all - we are all responsible for our world and how it works - if one doesn't like how it is one really ought to do something about changing it. Easier said than done? Of course - that's why we need talented people to get out there and get on with it. Treating them badly just because they put themselves forward really will mean all we get is those with thick skins who can cope with the mud-slinging rather than those with the real talent.

    And by the way, the complainers in the pub most often turn out to be those how do nothing community- or socitey-based at all, and can't even see the irony of their positions.

    Right, I'm opening a book here - suggested odds on how many days it is before I have to have that little rant again fellow froggers? - I can only hold it in for so long.

    I'm putting on my bikini and going back to the beach - it's all getting far too serious around here. I leave you with my motto - Always be sceptical; never be cynical. Well, it works for me.

  77. At 05:55 PM on 30 Oct 2006, Deepthought (formerly John W) wrote:

    Lindylou (74),

    You may not own a car. But you have the benefit of the internal combustion engine in so many ways, from the lorries that deliver the food to the shops, the post office delivering letters, delivery vans for goods delivered to your door. Just because you use public transport/bike/walk does not mean that you benefit from the business use of vehicles.

    And the 50% of those who own cars *already* pay taxes that those who don't have one. Vehicle excise duty, all sorts of duties and taxes on petrol, VAT on servicing, car parts, road tolls etc. Maybe those taxes are not high enough. But businesses will only pass on any costs that they incur.

    This issue is far more complicated that you seem to believe.

  78. At 06:00 PM on 30 Oct 2006, Fifi wrote:

    Oo-er, was that me, then? (Fifi, 75)

    The sexiest voice on radio has just babbled out a heartfelt apology for the loss of the Newsletter...

    ...and said they're working on fixing it. At a cost of £18 million. Clearly he's joking. It'll cost a LOT more than that!

    Nice one, Piper, by the way, getting your email in before the close. I like your style!

  79. At 06:04 PM on 30 Oct 2006, Deepthought (formerly John W) wrote:

    That Professor Sanger may be correct in saying there were vineyards in Northumbria (I'm not sure they were that far north, and that late), but he's ignoring the fact that the earth's natural cycles are slow. The current warming is fast, and what's more, if we stopped all emissions *now* we'd still have years of temperature rising and climate change until the equilibrium was reached.

    Aper (76), I'll join you at the beach later. My blood pressure is on the rise.

  80. At 06:56 PM on 30 Oct 2006, Peter wrote:

    I couldn’t help listening to the discussions about global warming and cutting back on energy use etc. without a growing feeling of ....well perhaps that I might be in a small minority but I know that global warming is caused by Sunlight not by carbon dioxide on its own. What does this mean? Well it means we do have a way of controlling global warming without cutting back on carbon dioxide emissions or on energy consumption.

    I am not suggesting we can reduce the amount of Sunlight being generated in the Sun but we can reduce the amount of Sunlight being absorbed by the Earths surface and therefore being turned into Infrared radiation that gets trapped by greenhouse gases. How so? I expect those that are still with me are asking.

    If we use the simple expediency of mirrors to reflect the Sunlight before it is converted into Infrared energy then the global warming can be checked and even reversed. We could do this in the UK and get the equivalent of a significant reduction in carbon emissions simply by reflecting a small percentage of Sunlight back into space. We could do this by putting plastic mirrors on the south facing roofs of our houses, farmers could be paid to put mirrors in their set aside fields and for a really global reduction in global warming we could put mirror arrays in the world’s deserts. The poor people who usually live in the deserts of the world could be paid to keep the mirrors clear of sand and dust and thus raise the economy of those regions.

    As an example a typical roof is 10 metres by 5 metres, this could reflect up to 50 kilowatts of unwanted Sunlight back into space.

    Is this all non-sense? No I am a physicist and professional engineer and I know if you ask any similarly qualified person they will confirm the underlying truth of what I have said. So why is this not being discussed by the government, you tell me.

  81. At 08:39 PM on 30 Oct 2006, Deepthought (formerly John W) wrote:

    Peter (80), If you want to reflect sunlight, it's much more effective to do it up in the upper atmosphere. One serious proposal was to add sulphur to aviation fuel, as the componds formed in burning help reflect sunlight. Though it is true the arctic areas do reflect back a lot more than the sea etc. But I think the contrubution that putting mirrors (or painting white) any possible surface is only going to reflect back a percent or two. That proposal may help a city such as London stay cooler than it does now, and has merit in preventing the use of air conditioning, but what of the 70% of the globe that is ocean?

    In any case, using all south facing surfaces for solar cells/water heating or whatever would be much better use of the light than reflecting it back out, and continue burning fossil fuels.

  82. At 08:39 PM on 30 Oct 2006, Karel wrote:

    Yo, just a couple of thingemies to deal with climate change. People have to get seriously motivated to get the ball rolling. How about free public transport and get shot of L and P plates on cars?
    Carfree Sundays - how about using the bike?
    No expansion of airports.
    Bring the balance back by making houseprices 3 times ones income. Less to pay on y'r mortgage and more to invest in energysaving measures in the home. Join a local volunteers group for something environmentally friendly. £3.7 trillion pounds needed to get the environment in a better shape - write off the UK 1.3 trillion pounds personal debt and put it in a trust and you are halfway there!

  83. At 08:58 PM on 30 Oct 2006, Bill'n'Ben wrote:

    Now I can see the logic of returning sunlight back into space, but surely if we're going to spend x amount on mirrors, wouldn't it be better if they heated up water, to produce steam, to turn a turbine , to produce electricery. Or have I got it fundemantally wrong.

    Sorry, Peter, I'm not a physicist.

  84. At 09:06 PM on 30 Oct 2006, Bill'n'Ben wrote:

    Karel (81)

    Now thats the kind of thinking I like;-)

  85. At 09:14 PM on 30 Oct 2006, Piper wrote:

    Fifi (78) ... thank you so much. For what it's worth, i believe you can rarely go wrong with a Chanel two-piece... in black.

  86. At 09:38 PM on 30 Oct 2006, Peter wrote:

    If we absorb the Sunlight and "use it" to make electricity on Earth then we turn most of it into infrared radiation that gets trapped by greenhouse gases, i.e. it contributes to global warming. Reflected Sunlight ( 1 KiloWatt per square metre at ground level ), can be sent back into space and therefore will not be used to heat the Earth. The albido ( reflectivity ) of the continents is an order of magnitued lower than the Oceans so covering a small percentage of the continents surface by mirrors ( albedo 90% ) can have a disproportionate effect on global warming.

  87. At 09:48 PM on 30 Oct 2006, Deepthought (formerly John W) wrote:

    Karel (82), Welcome. How does scrapping L and P plates on cars help - are you advocating no new car drivers at all?

    Certainly agree about the airports. Disagree about the car-free Sundays (there would be too many exemptions that would be needed, at least initially), but car-free town and city centres would certainly be a good move to start with.

  88. At 09:53 PM on 30 Oct 2006, Bill'n'Ben wrote:

    Peter (86)

    Now I understand, but I did say I wasn't a physicist.

  89. At 10:03 PM on 30 Oct 2006, eddie mair wrote:

    everyone WILL be switching off their computers tonight, yes?

  90. At 10:04 PM on 30 Oct 2006, Peter wrote:

    Sorry Bill and Ben, but I find statements that £3.6 trillion are at risk stimulated me to talk physics. Just a tiny part of that amount spent on physics of plastic mirrors could change the globe warming around in a decade.

  91. At 10:36 PM on 30 Oct 2006, Artemus wrote:

    I remember in the 70's it was predicted by the doom-sayers that we were about to enter another ice age. How did they get it so wrong ? Does anyone really believe that banning a slack handfull of 4X4s (many run on LPG) will have the slightest effect on GW ? If we are going to ban them, then lets be equitable - ban the manufacture of incandesant lights, any cooking device other than induction. Placing a large import tax on manufactured goods from China/India etc may slow down the "throw away" culture.
    I understand now why Corus are sellign out to India below current market value. They are going suffer badly with any environment tax in UK, so manufaturing will be switched to India and the result will be more global pollution - not less

  92. At 10:57 PM on 30 Oct 2006, Deepthought (formerly John W) wrote:

    Peter (86),

    Unless you advocate the elimination of homo sapiens

    Your entropy arguement fails on the details that, instead of harvesting current sunlight, HS should harvest sunlight that fell during the carboniferous period and later. Converting *current* heat input into low grade IR has an effect, true, but converting the stored sunlight of ~100 million years ago into IR is worse.

  93. At 11:06 PM on 30 Oct 2006, Deepthought (formerly John W) wrote:

    Artemus (91), & corus. it's not only energy guzzling industries. Our aluminium extrusion supplier has moved to Italy. Why? I guess, energy costs....

  94. At 11:10 PM on 30 Oct 2006, whisht wrote:

    hmmmmm.... interesting thinking.....

    can't add much except for two quick thoughts

    1. Attitudes can change quickly - no one now drinks and drives. And even something that is physically or mentally addictive like nicotine is being socially excluded through health warnings and banning frm bars.... so change is possible...

    2. This frog recycles! Look at the way we're reusing old blogs!!

    warms the cockles it does.

  95. At 11:34 PM on 30 Oct 2006, Dr Hackenbush wrote:


    Can we call you Ross?

  96. At 11:45 PM on 30 Oct 2006, Fifi wrote:

    Eddie (89)

    That'll be a NO then.

    Other than thee and meee.

    What WILL the other froggers start thinking....?


  97. At 12:24 AM on 31 Oct 2006, jonnie wrote:

    Re : Whisht -

    Very good, actually the files could be made to overwrite themselves one by one which would cause total chaos on the beach

    Re: Eddie (89)

    Of course we will, However we can remind some that it's very easy to enable standby or indeed hibernation after a pre-set time of inactivity, and unless you enjoy having a screensaver you can allow the monitor to go into standby as well.

    This saves on energy -- and the backlight tubes will last much longer. With old CRT displays the energy savings are much greater.

    For those of you who use MS Windows and aren't sure how to find the settings in XP it's very easy.

    Right click in the desktop, scroll down to properties.

    In the new window that opens up click on screensaver tab and then the power button. You are now ready to program the relevant stand by settings.

    You can also enable hibernation which copies all the files in the memory on to the hard drive and turns the computer off. It 'should' boot back to how you left it - but nothings guaranteed.

    I also set my hard drive to power down after 20 mins -- depending on how I'm feeling.

    Night all,

    We never here from Lee Vitout anymore. Great shame.

  98. At 07:59 AM on 31 Oct 2006, karly wrote:


    I put some unopened junkmail in our grey recycle wheelie bin - which states: paper, junk mail, cardboard.

    I subsequently received a written warning for putting envelopes in the grey bin.

    As a consequence I no longer recycle a thing for fear of prosecution.

    When I receive junk mail now, I simply open it, fold everything up (including the outer envelope) and post it all back to wherever it came from in the pre-paid enelope.

  99. At 09:04 AM on 31 Oct 2006, Deepthought wrote:

    Karly (98), welcome,

    Yes, recycling is a complete mess.

    Where I live, plastic bottles are recycled, with the rejoiner to squash them, then put the lid (made from a different plastic) back on (to keep them squashed). A neighbouring borough says no lids on plastic bottles as that spoils the plastic mix. Which is really correct? Yet I also have to throw away plastic youghurt cartons, *even though these are made from the same plastic as the drinks cartons*, as, apparently, not all cartons are, and they cannot trust people to sort plastics correctly.

    And like everything these days, transgression is a criminal offence.

  100. At 09:43 AM on 31 Oct 2006, jonnie wrote:

    I thought I'd add a quick final observation on to this debate.

    I think we really need to educate the youngsters in to conserving energy.

    I'm now in my mid-forties and when I was a kid it was drummed in to me to always turn lights off when leaving a room, turning heating off when not needed etc.

    After running the Hotel for a few years I've noticed that it's the current generation of people in their twenties that seem to go out and leave all the lights and telly on, and windows wide open with the radiator flat out.

    Call me old fashioned but there you are.

    PS: Mrs Trellis is on the beach already, bit of a hangover I gather :-(

  101. At 10:19 AM on 31 Oct 2006, OnTheLedge wrote:

    Eddie (Master and Commander),

    You've pricked my conscience. This morning, when I cam to switch on my computer I noted that I had inadvertently failed to switch off my monitor ...............

    Actually, I felt guilty about that before I read your posting (above).

    Late posting today due to MS updates for IE. Hope they don't interfere too much with blogging!

    Off to the beach now.

  102. At 10:23 AM on 31 Oct 2006, Fifi wrote:

    John W (99) and Karly (98)

    There is no 'correct' one. If a local authority sends the recyclables to a modern automated processing plant, the plastics need to be pre-sorted by you and me.

    Lids aren't wanted, so you take 'em off and send to landfill.

    If the LA persists in using people to hand-sort the stuff (labour intensive and bonkersly expensive) then they'll prioritise flattening bottles to get more per load, knowing the lads will unscrew the lids on arrival.

    And the biggest nonsense of all is that, just because a plastic (or whatever) CAN be recycled, doesn't automatically make it worth recycling. Because it's all down to market forces.

    Nobody's found a way to make recycling plastic food trays turn a profit -- so up here in Northants anyway they're still going into our fast-diminishing landfill.

  103. At 10:58 AM on 31 Oct 2006, Deepthought wrote:

    Fifi (102), one issue is that people, in general, will not sort plastics out by type. Certainly it was tried here and abandoned. Mind you, I was taking great care and still it was confusing.

    You're also correct about the economics of it all. Another example, of which people are more used to.

    I've always considered it madness to smash bottles, rather than wash and reuse them. That's what they do in Holland with beer bottles. We used to have deposit bottles here (and I suppose there are still a few dairies that deliver in bottles). But what of all the wine bottles that have been brought over from the other side of the world? Transport empties back? There's no market I can think of for millions of green, non-identical bottles in the UK. And, to make matters worse, bottles are not being standardised, but quite the opposite, are being made specially for that brewery/vineyard, with logos names etc in the glass itself.

  104. At 12:28 PM on 31 Oct 2006, Fifi wrote:

    It's even madder than that, Deepthought (103):

    Bottle glass of all colours is now being used as an aggregate for building ... roads!

    Can I go back to calling you John W please? I see you've dropped your former monicker from the frogname now.

    Am I the only frogger here that misses the old John W?

  105. At 03:25 PM on 31 Oct 2006, valery pedant wrote:

    Fifi - what's in a name? Might have a go at changing mine...

  106. At 06:40 PM on 31 Oct 2006, Peter wrote:

    Deepthought (92)

    You do raise an interesting point about the relative size of the solar input compared to the power cosumed by burning oil and it's products. I calculate that the solar energy intercepted by the Earth is 50 times bigger than the total world power consumed as oil. Which confirms my point that it is Sunlight that that hits the surface of the Earth that causes global warming when it is converted into IR radiation which is subsequently trapped by greenhouse gasses.

  107. At 11:28 PM on 31 Oct 2006, whisht wrote:


    we're a green frog then?

    aww c'mon, give me a break......

  108. At 12:34 AM on 01 Nov 2006, jonnie wrote:

    We are doing better tonight :-)

    Demand: 33232MW
    Frequency: 49.90Hz
    00:26:15 GMT

    System Transfers
    N.Ireland to Great Britain: -17MW
    France to Great Britain : 1995MW
    North-South: 3855MW
    Scot - Eng: 1603MW
    01/11/2006 00:26:00 GMT

  109. At 09:59 AM on 01 Nov 2006, Fifi wrote:

    Val (105)

    Maybe I just don't like change (...no, that's not true either!) but I like our names just as they are.

    Half the fun of this blog is watching the characters unfold, slowly.

    As a relatively late frogger, I would love to know why you're Pedant. I have a feeling we share those tendencies!

  110. At 04:52 PM on 01 Nov 2006, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    And what does the Earth have to say?

This post is closed to new comments.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.